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What Is an XML Editor Used For

by nForms on October 12, 2012

An XML editor is a program used for writing and editing in XML, or eXtensible Markup Language. XML is a web language which can be customized. A normal markup language, like HTML, has a predetermined set of rules that govern what tags you can use and how / where you can use them. With XML, you can completely define your own tags. The tags that are used in markup languages are pairs of words in between the %26lt; and %26gt; characters. For instance, a paragraph in HTML (HyperText Markup Language, the language web sites are written in) would look like this

This is a paragraph.

XML uses similar tags, but does not have preset tags you have to use. The idea behind XML is not that it sets rules for something, but simply that it holds information in a way you can define yourself. There are a number of different uses for this. One might be that one application needs to communicate with another. That application can create an XML file, and then another application can read the data in the XML file. The custom XML tags can be used to define anything you want, which makes it such a good language to use in that case.

An XML editor is an application specifically designed to write XML. It provides a number of special features to help you write better, cleaner, and more accurate code faster than you would otherwise be able to. Every editor is going to be different, but there are a number of features which are fairly standard. One of the biggest of these is syntax highlighting. Most editors automatically parse your XML code and make different parts show up as different colors. This makes it easy to look for specific elements within large documents, and improves overall readability as well.

Another common feature is syntax checking. Because XML is completely customizable, there is no exact way to validate an XML document, but the editor can check for errors and consistency, using some of the basic rules of XML. This can help to prevent errors, and is one of the major advantages of using a dedicated editor instead of just a plain text editor.

One very nice feature which some editors have is auto competition. The exact implementation of this feature may differ between different editors, but basically the idea is that the editor will provide some kind of auto-suggestion when you are writing tags, based on ones you have already written. It may also automatically close tags for you. This can greatly improve the speed at which you can write XML, and make using an editor well worth it.

If you write XML, definitely consider using a dedicated XML editor to improve both the efficiency and accuracy of the code. IT will save you a lot of time and worry, and make writing XML easie

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